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January 8, 2022

Jordan Battle

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Lucas Oil Stadium

Alabama Crimson Tide

Press Conference

Q. You were able to force Stetson Bennett into a few interceptions the first matchup. What do you do to try to replicate in this game, to do that again?

JORDAN BATTLE: Basically just focusing on staying in our zones, not drifting out of our zones, not breaking too early on the ball, just knowing the right moment of when to break on the ball and staying and trusting what our defensive coach calls.

Q. You've been in this game last year. What's a successful this year for you guys in your eyes?

JORDAN BATTLE: Obviously a successful season would be to finish strong in this game and come out with the natty. But doing all the things we've done this year and keep improving our game and play to the Bama standard.

Q. You just talked about the Bama standard. There's different kind of standards around the country for different teams. Yours is kind of championship or bust. Just what can you say feeling that weight on your shoulders and what you think about, the fact that it's not a great season at Alabama if you're not in the national championship?

JORDAN BATTLE: That's what you commit to when you're coming out of high school. You know the standard is what it is. It's the national championship-minded standard. You have to do whatever it takes to get to this stage. And we know it's going to be hard. But that's what it comes with. We know we have to overcome adversity and that's what this team has done this year.

Q. You're obviously playing in another national championship game, a lot at stake, but there have been a lot of players that opted out of lesser bowl games. Your thoughts on that from a player perspective? And do you understand guys particularly with NFL futures opting out of bowl games?

JORDAN BATTLE: I don't think that's, like, anything to judge. It's that player's option to opt out or do what they want. That's on them. If they choose to opt out, that's what they do. They want to opt out and do what they have to do to get ready for the next level, that's on them. That's fully their decision.

Q. For a rematch, getting prepared to play a team you played a month ago, how different is that going into a game like that than the regular season, a team you see once and know you're only going to see once? Is there anything different going into preparing for the same team?

JORDAN BATTLE: Nothing different that you have to prepare for. You just go into every week the same. We prepare how we need to prepare to beat a team. That's fully going into a game, that's on us.

What we do every week is what will determine the outcome of the game. So if we go into the game -- if we go into the game and we're not on the same page, that's when we give up big plays. When we're all on the same page, that's when we play very good football. So just being on the same page in every play.

Q. What is the best piece of advice that Coach Saban has given you over the course of your career that may stick with you throughout the rest of your playing career and the rest of your life?

JORDAN BATTLE: Just keeping the main thing the main thing and not focusing on anything outside of the facility. We play for one another. We can go out on the field and we trust one another to do our 1/11th. That's a big part of the success at Alabama, just trusting your brother next to you and playing for the man next to you, because you know he's going to give his all for you.

Q. Last year you got called for targeting. And you could see on the JumboTron there in Miami the hurt and the pain. You wanted to be out there competing with your guys. Have you given a thought about that playing this year? Have you thought about it this week?

JORDAN BATTLE: That was the main thing, getting a chance to play a whole game in the national championship. And I'm grateful and blessed to have the opportunity to play in another national championship. And hopefully I can play in the whole game this time around because last year everybody knows what happened.

Q. How has losing Josh Jobe affected the Alabama secondary?

JORDAN BATTLE: I don't think it affected us a lot, but obviously Josh Jobe is a great player. He's recovering very well. But the guys behind him like Kool-Aid McKinstry and we've got Khyree Jackson, they've stepped up very well and they've been in the filming room every day, been upstairs with Coach Valai, getting right and learning the playbook. And they're coming along well for us.

Q. Just expanding on that question, last week Coach Saban talked about how impressed he was with those younger guys stepping up. What do you think their mentality is going into their first national championship game on Monday?

JORDAN BATTLE: Obviously probably full of excitement. They've been in the playbook, and I feel like they're more comfortable than they were when they first got in there. So this will be a great experience for them and a great game for them as well as they keep improving.

Q. How does Coach Saban, a guy who's 50 years or close to 50 years older than most of the people he's coaching, how is he able to relate to you guys and the players? What is the secret there? Because it seems that might be the key to his greatness, is that he can somehow remain relevant to kids that are young enough to be his grandchildren.

JORDAN BATTLE: He just gradually improves with the generations. He fits in with us very well. He's very comfortable talking to us. He's very comfortable getting on us. And we, in this generation, we have to learn to take that.

I know in this generation it's a lot of attitude in kids, but somehow when we come to Bama and Coach Saban is talking, everybody is focused and everybody is focused on what he's saying. And everybody buys into what he's saying.

Q. What will be a story you could share from the weight room that you feel has influenced the team the most this season?

JORDAN BATTLE: Oh, yeah. In the weight room, we do a lot of competing. I know this summer, there was a lot of me Jalyn Armour-Davis and DeMarcco Hellams, Josh Jobe, we were competing in the weight room a lot, just having fun working.

I feel like that put us in a good position this year and that brought us very far this year in our athletic ability and our physical ability. So I want to thank those guys and the coaches as well for allowing us to compete in the weight room.

Q. Have you ever seen the jacket that Nick Saban was wearing on the plane last night? As a South Florida guy, what was it like walking off that plane and feeling that Indianapolis air?

JORDAN BATTLE: His jacket was very cool. I haven't seen Coach Saban in style like that. And to see that he has a little swag, it kind of brings joy to my heart.

But the feeling walking off that plane was very cool. They had the band playing over there for us. They were jamming. They were doing their thing. And it was a little cold in the atmosphere. I'm a Florida guy, so I don't get too much winter weather. So this is a great feeling.

Q. How do you guys as a defense keep from being overly confident walking into a ball game playing a team that you beat handedly a month ago?

JORDAN BATTLE: That's what comes with it. We know we're going to get every opponent we play, their best. So, we have to come out with the mentality that we're going to get their best, we have to play to our best ability every play, every down, one play at a time and now focus on the next play. If you mess up on a play, just correct it on the sideline and come back and get better from it.

Q. Obviously this Alabama defense is versatile, but you are as well with great basketball skills. Just last year at the basketball championship game, Art Vitale [phonetic] won it and then went and played for the Chiefs. Do you see basketball in your future, or are you focused on football at this point?

JORDAN BATTLE: I'm completely focused on football at this point. Basketball is not a thing I'm going to do ever again. I had the ability to play basketball in high school and middle school and elementary school and all those years, but football has the main focus and only focus, and school, of course.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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